Ter-Petrosyan Not To Run For President (Interview)



The local newspaper Chorrord Inqnishkhanutyun has talked to first
president and the current leader of the opposition Armenian National
Congress, Levon Ter-Petrosyan, who elaborated on his key arguments
for not joining the upcoming presidential race.

Below is an excerpt from the interview.

“Mr. president, it is no secret that your decision whether or not to
nominate yourself [in the upcoming election] is the key, if not the
only intrigue related to the presidential polls, the comments and
forecasts appearing in the media every day being an evidence of that.

How do you treat them?”

“With surprise”

“What do you mean?”

“What I mean is that those backing or opposing to my nomination plan
propose dozens of arguments, circumventing the key issue. To the
best of my knowledge, no one has raised the question as to whether
a person respecting his own nation can pretend to the presidential
office at the age of sixty-eight. Things like this do not normally
happen in developed democracies.”

“Are there no exceptions?”

“There are of course. But they normally become apparent in emergency
situations when the political elite invites – be it though in breach
of the Constitution – elderly but highly respected politicians with
consolidative capacities to take the helm of state due to the existing
chaos and uncontrollable situation. Such was the case with Churchill,
Adenauer, Shevardnadze, Heydar Aliyev and Mario Monti. The only real
exception is probably [Ronald] Ragan, whose election does not fit with
this scheme. But as they say, an exception – if proven to be such –
confirms the existence of regularity. ”

“And don’t you think the situation in Armenia is like a state of

“Not absolutely. Not at least with respect to the issues I mentioned.

Armenia is facing neither a chaos nor an uncontrollable. It’s just
vice versa. The problem is the excess control, with everything being
centralized in the hands of a group of criminals who have seized
power. Hence, there is no demand at the moment for getting rid of a
chaos and making the country controllable. And even if there were,
that wouldn’t mean I would be the person to satisfy the demand.”

“So, you are not going to nominate yourself?”

“No. Whatever you may say, a 68-year-old cannot have the same
enthusiasm and ability to work as the one who is 40 to 60, which is
the optimal age for political figures seeking the presidential office.

Hence, those who are younger than me have to appear on the arena. ”